On the night of his high-school prom, Bryson admits to himself that he is gay. Bry finds himself torn between his realization and the person his friends expect him to be, and confides in Jasper, his crush. Jasper is openly gay himself and four years previously wrote a love note to Bry telling him he was beautiful. Playing for the Other Team is the story of the romance between the two young men, from their first kiss in the gym equipment cupboard, to Bry’s difficult journey through the final weeks of school, to the homophobia Bry and Jasper face from both friends and family, and the trust that builds between the couple, despite the obstacles they face.
Sage C. Holloway’s story is perfectly aimed at her young adult target audience. The complex and emotive subjects surrounding coming out, abuse, bullying, and navigating a first relationship are dealt with openly and sensitively by the author.
Bryson is on the school’s baseball team whilst Jasper is a brilliant artist. Jasper’s sexuality is accepted by his family, whereas Bry’s admission is met with anger by his mother. Yet despite these differences both young men are kind, loyal, stubborn, and charming. Standing behind both Bry and Jasper are their sisters, Brina and Missy. I really enjoyed their feistiness, wit, and constant support.
Playing for the Other Team is a touching and readable story that can easily be enjoyed by young people or adults alike.